Social Justice Awareness & Education
"The Church's social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society... [there are several] key themes that are at the heart of our Catholic social tradition... Life and dignity of the Human Person; Call to Family, Community, and Participation; Rights and Responsibilities; Option for the Poor and Vulnerable; the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers; Solidarity; Care for God's Creation" - United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Economic Inequality – A Catholic Concern
Click the link to learn more from the USCCB.
Bearing Witness to Peace
Lord God, we come to you in our need.
Create in us an awareness of the massive forces
that threaten our world today.
Give us a sense of urgency
to activate the forces of goodness, of justice, of love
and of peace.
Where there is armed conflict,
let us stretch our arms to our brothers and sisters.
Where there is abundance,
let there be simple lifestyle and sharing.
Where there is poverty,
let there be dignified living and constant striving
for just structures.
Where there are wounds of division,
let there be unity and wholeness.
Help us to be committed to the building of your kingdom.
Not seeking to be cared for,
but to care.
Not expecting to be served,
but to place ourselves in the service of others.
Not aspiring to be materially secure,
but to place our security in your love.
Teach us your spirit.
Only in loving imitation of you
can we discover the healing springs of life
that will bring new birth to our world.
—Catholic Relief Services (Philippines)
Catholics Confront Global Poverty Exerpts from The Faces of Global Poverty – United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief
The Catholics Confront Global Poverty Initiative is inspired by Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 World day of Peace Message: Fight Poverty to Build Peace. Our Holy Father declares: “Effective means to redress the marginalization of the world’s poor through globalization will only be found if people everywhere feel personally outraged by the injustices in the world and by the concomitant violations of human rights.”1 To fight poverty effectively we also need to know the many faces of poverty.
A Call To Action
What can we do? Catholics can confront global poverty! We can pray, support the important work of CRS, and advocate with public officials for policies and programs that help poor persons and communities to help themselves. Key elements of U.S. foreign policy should address the “many faces of poverty:”
In the short term:
- Support funding for poverty-focused foreign assistance that meets short term hunger and humanitarian needs caused by natural and human-made disasters and invests in long-term development, including agriculture, health care, education, and clean water and sanitation.
- Finish the agenda of debt relief for poor nations so that they can invest in the development of their own people.
- Support U.S. contribution to U.N. peacekeeping operations to reduce violent conflict.
Over the long term:
- Meet our nation’s commitment to increase foreign aid toward .7% of national income.
- Promote comprehensive foreign assistance reform that elevates development as a priority and emphasizes integral human development, poverty reduction, and government transparency and the participation of civil society.
- Address global climate change with a particular focus on helping poor countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
- Promote reform of U.S. trade and agriculture policies to stimulate sustainable development in poorer nations and protect poor farmers overseas and small and medium-sized farmers in our own action.
- Support transparency, participation and consent of local communities in natural resource development so that these activities lead to integral human development.
- Employ significant resources in peace building initiatives and diplomacy to address conflicts before they become violent.
- Address the root causes of migration and promote comprehensive immigration reform.
1 Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message, January 1, 2009.
2 Pope Paul VI, world Day of Peace Message, January 1, 1972
3 Second Vatican Council, Gaudium it spes, 1965, no.26